We are relational beings and everything we feel—all our emotions—have a relational basis. So taking good care of our relationships, especially our intimate partnered relationships, is one of the most important things we can do.



At Three Rivers, we think of mindfulness as the process by which a person comes fully alive. With mindfulness, we bring kind awareness to the moments in our life as we are living them.



We are particularly interested in the ways that the connected fields of attachment, neuroscience, and mindfulness can inform the practice of effective psychotherapy. Our writing, reflecting, and supervision/consultation takes place at that nexus.



In the west, we are used to pushing ourselves so hard at everything we do—“No pain, no gain!” This energy can be helpful in meditation. We often need to fiercely protect the time and space necessary for our practice. It can be helpful to establish a visible corner of your home and a particular time of day that is set aside for you to practice. Once the time actually comes to practice, though, see if you can let go of the push. If the energy of protecting the practice is that of a warrior fighting off the pull of a never-ending to-do list, the energy of the practice itself is that of a loving mother holding a newborn baby. Put on comfy clothes; if you’re a candle person, light a candle; lower the lights; find a comfortable chair or cushion to sit on. Rather than trying to twist your body/mind into an image of what the practice “should be,” ask yourself, “How can I take care of myself here? What might sweeten this experience for me?” People who stick with meditation find a way to like it. And sticking with it is what it’s all about.



Privilege frequency and consistency over duration. People are called to meditation because of suffering. Perhaps they are ready to liberate themselves from the grip of anger or fear. Perhaps they are listening to an ache deep within to come fully and authentically alive. Freeing ourselves from suffering and truly living our lives as they unfold are powerful motivators, and people usually begin with the intention to practice regularly. Yet, all too often, despite their best intentions, their practices falter and disappear. This is often the result of rigidly holding an expectation for what meditation must look like: “I’m going to wake up at 5am every morning and meditate for 45 minutes.” Then life intervenes—they become ill or someone they love does, their commitments stack up and interfere, they have an anxious, sleepless night and the snooze button is suddenly too alluring to resist. Ironically at the moments they find themselves suffering the most, they stop practicing all together. The answer here is to bring flexibility to your practice as your create a habit. Find an anchor activity that you do every day (e.g. brush your teeth in the morning, get into bed at night) and set an intention to meditate every day before you do that activity. Here’s where flexibility comes in: when you don’t have time/energy for a 45-minute sit, that’s okay! On those days, let meditation be a conscious pause. Find somewhere to sit for a moment and take seven conscious breaths. As Thich Nhat Hanh has suggested, you might silently say to yourself, “Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in. Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out.” In this way, your practice continues one day to the next, always there for you, responsive to your life as it is.




Ever feel like you could use a little more peace of mind? In our research-based, 8-week MSC course, you can learn how mindfulness and self-compassion can improve the quality of your life.

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Sean and Luana provide supervision in the practice of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT).

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  • It’s summer, which means more time with my kids. I have so much gratitude for this time, especially the little moments—unburdened by pretense or expectations of grandeur. The other day, I was playing this three-dimensional tic-tac-toe game with my eldest daughter, and she was beating......

  • Begin again… Spring is finally starting to feel like it’s here. We’ve had such a wet winter, so it means the flowers are in bloom, the grass is green, and Sacramento is bursting with color, vibrancy, and life. April is such a significant month for......

  • This morning as I was leaving for work, I got a text message from some mothers at my daughters’ school. It was a sweet text message chain asking who was available this weekday morning to do a playdate. I declined because of work and had......

  • I am reading Sharon Salzberg’s new book Real Love. I resonated with one of her stories and I thought I’d share it here. She writes that in 1976, shortly after co-founding the Insight Meditation Society, she decided to do a monthlong, self-guided retreat focused on lovingkindness......

  • A beloved client recently suggested that I listen to the above episode of the podcast Invisibilia (if the embedded player isn’t working, try refreshing the page, and if that doesn’t work, you can listen here). I’m so glad he recommended it. One of my favorite experiences as a human......

  • It’s a few days into 2017 and I’ve been in several conversations about New Year’s resolutions this week.  The prevailing sentiment? “I don’t set those any more. Resolutions are made to be broken and I just end up feeling bad about myself.” Now, I’m all......


I’d like to start a meditation practice, but I haven’t been successful in the past. Do you have any pointers?

There are plenty of places you can go for the “what” of meditation, including our article base here, but I think the “how” of starting a practice gets overlooked. Here are three tips to get you going: 1) create a meditation space in your home and make it inviting. Find a way to make it somewhere you’ll enjoy sitting. 2) Decide when you’re going to meditate and then find an existing habit you already do during that time. An example might be to know that directly after brushing your teeth, you will meditate. 3) Post a “permission slip” in your meditation space that reads, “you have permission to be imperfect.” Really. Don’t skip this step. Grab a post-it note and a sharpie and try it. Some days your meditation will be long, some days it will be sitting in your space and taking 5 conscious breaths. Some days your mind will feel clear and still, and other days it will feel busy and distractible. Your permission slip invites you to let go of expectations of what your daily meditation experience “should be” and to open to what it is.

I think mindfulness could really benefit our staff at work. Do you have suggestions?

Yes, we are here to help. Please contact us to discuss options. Depending on the level of support for integrating mindfulness in your organization, we can provide workshops, consultation, or individualized training with one or more “mindfulness champions” who might provide a self-sustaining lunchtime mindfulness group.

How do I book an appointment with a Three Rivers therapist?

Call us at 916-426-6001 or email us at the addresses listed here. When you call our main number, you’ll be invited to choose an extension for the specific therapist you’d like to reach. If you’re not sure with whom you’d like to book, feel free to select any of our extensions and whomever you reach will be happy to guide you through the process of making a first appointment.

How do I sign-up for one of your mindfulness courses? How much do they cost?

Click here for a list of current course descriptions, fees, and to sign-up.

I’m waiting for my course to begin or to start therapy from a waitlist, do you have suggestions about books I might read?

Sure! We wrote an article about that. You can find it here